ENN readers (you) have always been intelligent, well-read, interesting folks. So, I ask you this: If you could have written our national energy legislation what would you have included? Please send me your thoughts.
Here is a question for you: Wouldn’t you think that the $14.5 billion dollar energy bill passed by congress would have these three objectives: A reduction in our dependency on foreign oil (currently at 60% up from 30% 30 years ago), an increase in diversifying our energy sources with an emphasis on renewables (only about 6% of our energy currently comes from renewables), and an increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards? The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 required passenger cars and light trucks to meet CAFE standards which are 27.5 mpg for passenger cars and 20.7 for light trucks which include vans and SUVs. It’s estimated that total fuel economy actually peaked more than a decade ago because, at that time, SUVs and light trucks were only about 28% of the market but today they comprise about 50% of all cars sold, hence, an actual decrease in miles per gallon when you look at the two categories.
Many people I talk with, from a variety of perspectives, seem to agree that the energy bill will not decrease our dependency on foreign oil. Furthermore, any significant changes in our energy portfolio will not occur for a decade or so.
Probably the only vision in the newly-passed legislation is to increase daylight savings time by a month. What’s next? A national bedtime policy mandating that we all turn in at sundown, shutting off all lights, TVs, and computers? At least that would actually cut energy consumption.
In the coming days, check back with us as we publish your specific suggestions. These ideas will also be sent to key members of congress.
Publisher, Environmental News Network